NM man among five killed in Marine aircraft crash in California - Albuquerque Journal

NM man among five killed in Marine aircraft crash in California

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – A Marine from New Mexico was one of five who died when their Osprey tiltrotor aircraft crashed during training in the California desert on Wednesday.

The U.S. Marine Corps late Friday identified Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland, 19, of Valencia, New Mexico, as one of those killed.

Also killed were two pilots: Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, 31, of Rockingham, New Hampshire, and Capt. John J. Sax, 33, of Placer, California. Sax is the son of former Los Angeles Dodgers player Steve Sax.

Strickland was among three tiltrotor crew chiefs killed. The others were: Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, 21, of Winnebago, Illinois, and Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, 21, of Johnson, Wyoming.

The longest-serving Marine was Losapio, with 8 years and 9 months, while Strickland had been in the service for 1 year and 7 months.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, while speaking at a Saturday wildfire briefing in Santa Fe with President Joe Biden, honored the Valencia Marine and the other crash victims.

“Our deepest sympathies are with the families and the loved ones of these servicemen,” Lujan Grisham said.

In expressing their grief and condolences, leaders from Valencia County said Strickland was a recent graduate of the Los Lunas School District.

“Our entire Valencia County community is deeply saddened by the tragedy of losing five Marines, including Evan Strickland,” state Rep. Brian Baca, R-Los Lunas, said in statement.

State Rep. Kelly Fajardo, R-Los Lunas, said, “Our community is proud of Evan A. Strickland's service in the Marine Corps. My condolences go out to Lance Cpl. Strickland's family and friends in this tragic time.”

The MV-22 Osprey went down Wednesday afternoon during training in a remote area in Imperial County near the community of Glamis, about 115 miles east of San Diego and some 50 miles from Yuma, Arizona.

The Marines were based at Camp Pendleton and assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 364 of Marine Aircraft Group 39, part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing headquartered at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of five Marines from the Purple Fox family,” the squadron's commanding officer, Lt. Col. John C. Miller, said in a statement. “Our primary mission now is taking care of the family members of our fallen Marines, and we respectfully request privacy for their families as they navigate this difficult time.”

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The Marines were participating in routine live-fire training over their gunnery range in the Imperial Valley desert, said Marine Maj. Mason Englehart, spokesperson for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

The Osprey, a hybrid airplane and helicopter, flew in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but has been criticized by some as unsafe.

It is designed to take off like a helicopter, rotate its propellers to a horizontal position and cruise like an airplane.

Versions of the aircraft are flown by the Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force.

Before Wednesday, Osprey crashes had caused 46 deaths, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Most recently, four Marines were killed when a Marine Corps Osprey crashed on March 18 near a Norwegian town in the Arctic Circle while participating in a NATO exercise.

Home » ABQnews Seeker » NM man among five killed in Marine aircraft crash in California

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Former Lobo Udeze shines in all-star game at Final ...
ABQnews Seeker
Former Lobo Morris Udeze was named ... Former Lobo Morris Udeze was named MVP of the College Basketball All-Star Game in his hometown of Houston on Friday.
Tuition bump? UNM administration seeks 3% tuition hike, 6% ...
ABQnews Seeker
Tuition and fees for in-state students ... Tuition and fees for in-state students would be $11,380 for one year
Fewer police officer positions, a goodbye to extra COVID ...
ABQnews Seeker
Mayor Tim Keller on Friday released ... Mayor Tim Keller on Friday released his plan for fiscal year 2024, which includes a slightly smaller budget after years of significant growth.
Photos: Grants High School baseball team beats St. Pius ...
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico Supreme Court blocks ordinances restricting access to ...
ABQnews Seeker
Five Eastern New Mexico jurisdictions had ... Five Eastern New Mexico jurisdictions had passed ordinances that activists call "de facto abortion bans."
Local hospitals are lifting their mask mandates
ABQnews Seeker
Presbyterian, UNMH, Christus St. Vincent and ... Presbyterian, UNMH, Christus St. Vincent and the Lovelace make joint announcement
In split ruling, Court of Appeals vacates former NM ...
ABQnews Seeker
Former New Mexico tax department head ... Former New Mexico tax department head Demesia Padilla's two felony convictions that stemmed from a lengthy public corruption investigation were vacated Friday by the ...
Albuquerque police officer resigns after allegation of 'inappropriate contact' ...
ABQnews Seeker
An Albuquerque police officer resigned on ... An Albuquerque police officer resigned on Friday after officials said he refused to cooperate in an investigation into allegations that he had inappropriate contact ...
Police release clearer photo of truck allegedly involved in ...
ABQnews Seeker
Crime Stoppers have released a clear ... Crime Stoppers have released a clear photo of a pickup truck believed to be involved in the homicide of a motorcyclist earlier this month ...